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152                   A Painter's Views

trusted my judgment; in the evening I mentioned the picture
to Gogin who went and looked at it; finding him not less
impressed than I had been with the idea that the work was
an early one by Rembrandt, I bought it, and the more I look
at it the more satisfied I am that we are right.

People talk as though the making the best of what comes
was such an easy matter, whereas nothing in reality requires
more experience and good sense. It is only those who know
how not to let the luck that runs against them slip, who will
be able to find things, no matter how long and how far they
go in search of them. [1887.]

Trying to Buy a Bellini

Flushed with triumph in the matter of Rembrandt, a
fortnight or so afterwards I was at Christie's and saw two
pictures that fired me. One was a Madonna and Child by
Giovanni Bellini, I do not doubt genuine, not in a very good
state, but still not repainted. The Madonna was lovely,
the Child very good, the landscape sweet and Belliniesque.
I was much smitten and determined to bid up to a hundred
pounds; I knew this would be dirt cheap and was not going
to buy at all unless I could get good value. I bid up to a
hundred guineas, but there was someone else bent on having
it and when he bid 105 guineas I let him have it, not without
regret. I saw in the Times that the purchaser's name was

The other picture I tried to get at the same sale (this
day week); it was a small sketch numbered 72 (I think) and
purporting to be by Giorgione but, I fully believe, by Titian.
I bid up to 10 and then let it go. It went for 28, and I
should say would have been well bought at 40. [1887.]


I was telling Gogin how I had seen at Christie's some
pictures by Watts and how much I had disliked them.   He,
said some of them had been exhibited in Paris a few years
ago and a friend of his led him up to one of them and said
in a serious, puzzled, injured tone:

" Mon clier ami, racontez-moi done ceci, s'il vous plait,"